A Savage Beauty | 25 July 2012
I’m a “details” kind of person . . . my eagle eye can spot a treasure among any flea market heap. Because of this, I find myself dumbstruck among vast expanses of scenery.
Nowhere was this more true than in the extraordinary Connemara region of Ireland.
There’s a road, aptly called Sky Road, that curves around the perimeter of Connemara, climbing up to over 500 feet above the Atlantic, providing breathtaking views of the verdant cliffs hovering over the sea.
I’m not sure which was more formidable . . . the view from Sky Road or the road itself.
Can you imagine what it would be like to live atop these isolated windswept bluffs?
Through the mist are the ancient islands that have been shaped by the tide, and that are home to many an exotic legend.
That’s my little blue car, dwarfed by the panorama.
I heard them before I saw them…the bleating of black-faced sheep grazing amongst the craggy rocks above the road.
The road led down into the wide open spaces of Connemara. It felt like time travel to a prehistoric land.
Dense clouds engulf the mountaintops, releasing intermittent rain showers. The color of the Connemara sky is predominantly gray.
The only obvious signs of life are the black-faced sheep, who seem to go about their business lackadaisically, assuming any passer-by will go around them.
You’ve got to admire that kind of confidence. Or is it, dare I say, a lack of intelligence? Whatever the case, just look at that face. You can’t help smiling.
Again I ponder the life in another lonely house, exposed to the elements, and what must be a solitary existence among its vast and tempestuous surroundings.
Irish writer, Oscar Wilde, called the bleak and beautiful Connemara, “a savage beauty.”
Three small words that unequivocally describe this immense, haunting, and unforgettable land.